Saturday, April 19, 2008

Little darling ...

... it's been long, cold, lonely winter. It has been, the longest, snowiest, and coldest overall and worldwide, in quite a while. And there's still that big Antarctica freeze-down going on Way Down Under.

The UN World Meteorological Organization has belatedly recognized what many meteorologists and ordinary people have been noticing for the last decade: apparently, the globe hasn't warmed since 1998. The trend has been a little more complex, I think: probably cooling slowly from the mid-90s to around 2003, then sharper cooling since then - all interrupted by a couple hotter, drier years 2000 and 2001, suspiciously around solar magnetic maximum. (The same happened in 1988-89, at the previous maximum.) Readers of this blog will not be surprised, either about the longer cooling trend or the short warming spells around solar magnetic maxima. The post-1998 seems to be connected to a re-sync-ing of the Earth's internal climate cycles, signaled most forcefully by changes in El Niño/Southern Pacific Oscillation (ENSO). Something similar going the other direction happened in 1977, apparently leading to a nearly two-decade warming spell.

I'll leave aside that little technicality about spatial averages of local thermodynamic variables like temperature being meaningless. A statistical proxy index doesn't have to be the temperature of anything (and it isn't) to still indicate a trend. What the trend means, is far less obvious than many people (including the IPCC) think.

Naturally, this frustrates my plan to write my mature masterwork, an Italian opera called Si Ricalda Il Globo. It's supposed to feature, as protagonist, the frustrated crown prince Alberto, so rudely pushed aside by the nouveau riche and less polished Arbusti clan from Texas. His scientific antagonist is Il Dottore Termale, played by a certain Christoforo, who enters with his dramatic baritone aria, "Non si fà la media delle temperature." Alberto also sings baritone, but more screechy. They're rumored to be twins separated at birth.

I guess I'll have to wait til the next warming spell.

POSTSCRIPT: Is Ted Turner senile? I guess only Jane Fonda knows for sure. Recently on the Charlie Rose show, he raved on about yestercentury's "crisis" of overpopulation and how we're all going to be eating other in a fit of cannibalism as it gets warmer and warmer. Nothing like crabby left-wing billionaires bloviating about a world they don't understand.

If it is cannibalism, let's eat the Left first and agree now to play my opera as background.

POST-POSTSCRIPT: But no cannibalism on Passover - chag sameach!

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At 2:30 PM, Blogger Sissy Willis said...

I love this post, and thank you for the lovely link, but as for eating Ted Turner, don't forget that you are what you eat! :-)


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